How is Prayer Answered?

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So often we feel like our prayers go unanswered. Like God must be ignoring them. But maybe we’re the ones doing the ignoring?

Unfortunately, we are too often close-minded about what an answered prayer should look like that we end up missing the answer all together. God is everywhere, yet somehow we miss Him. The answers are everywhere, too.

Here’s a surprisingly good clip (video below) that illustrates this point well. It’s from the movie Evan Almighty – the one where Steve Carell builds an Ark because God (played by Morgan Freeman) tells him to. Here, Evan’s wife is struggling with making sense of it all:

God didn’t create this wonderful, mysterious, complex human experience for us just so He could up and circumvent it all the time with some magical spell whenever He wants to do something in it or to communicate with us. He doesn’t use “magic.” And while super-natural types of miracles do exist, I think the most profound ways he communicates are directly through our everyday human experience. That’s why He created such an experience in the first place. So it’s not surprising that most of our prayers seem to get answered precisely that way. We just have to be on the lookout for such answers.

Likewise, our sanctification and salvation is the same way. It’s not only something that happens in a single moment when we say a prayer, make a decision or perform an act of faith. It’s not an elusive and magical moment, it’s a tangible and life-long experience. It’s a race that is run. A human adventure that must be persevered. A fire through which we pass. And it’s the many times we say “yes” to the everyday opportunities God puts so blatantly in front of our faces – so blatantly obvious that we often miss them.

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